Landing in Mauritius in the middle of a South African winter is, well, just plain “lekka”. And on landing here, there are already memories about this little island and its inhabitants which I can carry as long as I can…
The first memory is discovering why so many people don’t want to leave. You’ve heard the stories, I’m sure. Well, I certainly don’t want to leave because I’m not sure we’re going to survive the bus trip back to the airport! The brochure said “a 45 minute drive”. The brochure didn’t say that if Shivvy was driving, at night, in the dark, it would be 26 minutes. Shivvy is an ex-NASCAR racer (I’m certain) and understands the finer points of bump-drafting all too well while preserving fuel in the slip and is the only person I know to double-clutch a diesel bus in 3rd gear going up a hill.
The other memory is the stray dogs who have graduated the school of Hard Knocks (Shivvy was a professor there, incidentally). They scatter like rats when they see headlights approaching, which, if you consider the candles dubbed “headlights”, it’s not really that much notice at all. But they manage with cat-like reflexes. Not many slow hounds about…
And from the glimpses I caught of the passing scenery, the island reminds me a lot of the Caribbean and my journeys around that part of the world- and Ecuador. So the real Mauritius is very down-to-earth, even poor and a far cry from the brochures with immaculate finery. Not to say the finery doesn’t exist. Oh, it does indeed. A strong contrast as we enter our little hideaway behind security gates and settle down into a week of “whatever” (with a bit of ocean paddling thrown in for good measure).
One keen reminder for me is just how much “sport” plays a role in my (your) life. Tom once said about sport (particularly committing and dedicating yourself to whatever sport you choose) is that it gives you two T’s in life (he may have been quoting someone else though, not entirely sure). Tools and Tickets. Tools to deal with life and Tickets to awesome places. And then Barry Lewin once tweeted along the lines: choose the races, places and faces and then go there. So sport does give me (you) that escape, that release, that adventure all the while arming you with tools; determination and focus.
Anyhoo, we’ll see what the rest of the experience brings- we’re looking forward to it- and seeing it in the bright daylight. If this hotel is anything to go by (Tamassa in a part of the island called Bel Ombre) I’m already not wanting to go back home.
The program for the week is mauritiusoceanclassic.com. And the weather is… ahhhhh.